Red: Teenage Girls in America Write On What Fires Up Their Lives Todayis a compilation of essays by girls about their lives.
“Its high time people stopped writing, talking and worrying about teenage girls and just let those girls speak for themselves. This book gives voice to many talented young essayists, who . . . richly deserve to be heard.” – Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia says on the back of this book.
To which I might point out that it’s super-easy not to worry about girls when you’re not responsible for any of them. But, I love Elizabeth Gilbert and I agree, girls do richly deserve to be heard. Reading some of these essays, I did have this thought, why are girls so angsty? Then I answered myself, “because some genuinely sucky things happen to them.”
The Impostor’s Daughter: A True Memoir was sent to me. I was busily doing the mom thing and set it aside to look at later. Next thing I know, I look over and see my 3-year-old son is coloring cartoon drawings of a naked girl.
We don’t draw in books, I told him and put it on a higher shelf.
The next day another book showed up.
I want to see the naked girl, he said. I showed him. What is the big deal anyway? He also likes to see the naked mommy holding a naked baby in a skin product ad in O Magazine. I like to see them too. Bodies are interesting and pretty.
I must admit that my reaction might have been more relaxed than it is when my daughter sees sexual images. I’m not shy about human sexuality with her. I’m just more aware that in the images of our culture the girl is most often the object and I want to protect her identity as a three-dimensional whole and sexual human being.
I very excitedly ordered a book by Pastor Rob Bell titled Sex God: Exploring the Endless Connections between Sexuality and Spirituality to this end. I want to know more about the relationship between sex and God. So I can more effectively talk to my kids about it. Also, so I can enjoy it more. Not in a “God’ll send you to hell” ineffective and shaming kind of way. But, in an intimately, orgasmic, hot kind of way. I’ll let you know if this book is worth reading. I suspect it will be.